Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Just the other day, I wrote my friend Cindy that I really enjoy my job, but there are days I don’t want to go to work. At all. On those days, I think that if someone came running up to me, handed me a satchel of money, and ran off shouting “you don't ever have to work again and you will have no money or health insurance problems for the rest of your life!," I would turn right around and head back home.

Cindy emailed back: ‘Wouldn't that be nice!!!!  I think a lot about the fact that we spend SO much of our time doing things we don't particularly like to put a roof over our heads and have no time to enjoy that "roof!"  Does it really make sense?”

Cindy has made that roof comment before. Every time she does, I think she is onto something. There are days we all want to be under our own "roofs" (whatever and wherever they may be) doing what we want or need to be doing.

So here I am, Wednesday evening, thinking about our respective “roofs” and what it takes to be under them. Legal clinic was last night. Lots of clients, lots of hard times. Oatmeal cookies and fruit kuchen (thank you, Ashley, it was wonderful!) are not enough to keep the wolves away from these peoples’ doors (and roofs). We will see at least 250 clients this year, a record we don’t look forward to setting. If the economy turns steeply downward, we will see even more.

While I type this, I am making more oatmeal cookies (for another program I bake for). Bread (for us) is rising. I am trying to stare my checkbook into submission, looking at whether I can shave a little more off the stack of bills. Some of the “getting away” fund – the portion directly attributable to my rebates and mileage checks (as compared to loose change, which we both contribute) – “got away” into my checking account to pay bills, but I am resolved to replace that when I am able.

And I am STILL tired.

But my roof – literally and figuratively – is sturdily in place over my head, kept there by a wonderful husband, a solid marriage, a dependable job (which I really do enjoy), and blessings innumerable. Even if I don’t always recognize (or admit) it, the reality is I do have time to enjoy my roof, whether that means sharing breakfast with Warren, reading in the quiet of the evening, or daydreaming about strengthening the community through baking. That doesn’t mean I don’t want more time under my roof, no matter how I define “roof,” but I try to be mindful of just how much I already have in the face of so many who are faced with so much less.

In these uncertain times, many of us are struggling to keep the roofs of our lives from blowing away, trying to patch the holes in the roof before the drip becomes a deluge, trying to throw up a makeshift roof where one used to be before the storm breaks. My prayer for us all is simple.

May we all be under our own roofs, wherever and whatever they may be.


Terri said...

So well said. We have taken in my daughter and her grandson, while our oldest son has taken in members of his wife's family...I worry about our own checkbook. And repeatedly my husband calms me that all is well. This afternoon when I was offered an additional class this semester, I took a deep breath, and turned it down.

Jackie said...

Beautifully written April. It seems to be getting harder to keep the wolves away every day. I hope all is well with you...I've missed blog reading this summer and look forward to a few extra minutes once the kids start school.

Sharon said...

I can't even imagine what you go through each and every time you hear another hardship story. I can shut off the TV if I don't want to hear it anymore, but it's part of your job.

Like I've said before, it's hard to see those less fortunate in our area. Things seem to be humming along as usual. Restaurants loaded, stores crowded...But I know, deep down, that there are many struggling. I'm scared for 2012, but the one thing I can count on is my faith. I will prepare as best I can, and perhaps this will be the year I can give just a bit more. Hopefully my "roof" will stay clearly overhead to protect and shelter my family.

I hope you start feeling better soon. Feeling tired is, well, tiring. Sending {{hugs}} your way!! :)!

see you there! said...

I am so grateful for my own roof. I do try to share what I'm blessed with but there is no doubt that I could share more. Your posts often remind me of that and I thank you for the occasional nudge.